Advent is the wonderful time of year when we celebrate and anticipate the coming of Christ. Like most churches, Hazelwood has quite a few traditions centered around this blessed time. These traditions have been a part of our worship for so long that, while we continue to hold them dear to our hearts and consider them essential to our worship during the Advent season, the reasons behind them often get lost as the years go by. In that light, we would like to share with you some background on a couple of the traditions we observe here at Hazelwood. Our hope is that by remembering the reasons behind the traditions, we are better able to use them to draw ourselves closer to God.
The Hanging of the Greens Service
The hanging of the greens is a Western Christian ceremony in which congregations adorn their churches with Advent and Christmas decorations. This takes place at the start of the Advent season, in preparation for Christmas. Greens, fir, and pine represent everlasting life. Holly symbolizes Jesus’ death, and ivy represents the resurrection.
The service was first implemented here at Hazelwood in 1983 under the leadership of Dr. David Cartwright. We have continued with this service every Christmas season since with very few changes.
The Advent Wreath
The Advent Wreath is made up of four candles on a wreath of evergreen. It is shaped in a circle to symbolize eternal life. The four candles around the wreath represent the four virtues Jesus brings us: Hope, Peace, Joy (the pink candle), and Love. We light these candles in succession over the four Sundays of Advent as we focus on each virtue. In the center of the wreath, there is a white candle—the Christ candle. This candle is lit on Christmas Eve and represents Jesus Christ as our light in this world.
~The Worship Team
We want to hear from you! If you have something you would like us to address, jot it down, stick it in an envelope marked “Worship Team,” and place it in the offering plate on Sunday. You can also feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Stefanie in the church office at (765) 282-5969, or mail it in to us addressed to: Worship Team at Hazelwood, 1400 W. University Ave., Muncie, IN 47303.